One of our favorite uses for the delicious pumpkin, this fall soup never fails to satisfy. The addition of sherry elevates the dish to something sublime. For the ne plus ultra of soups, serve with a small dollop of foie gras mousse, or drizzle whole wheat toast points with truffle oil.
This recipe is featured in the Harvest Celebration Dinner Party menu in our Gilded Fork: Entertaining at Home cookbook!
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 leeks, including light green parts, sliced and thoroughly rinsed
1 celery stalk, diced
1 small onion, diced
3 ½ cups diced, peeled pumpkin
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 fresh sage leaves
2 quarts chicken stock
1 tablespoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 Tablespoons Fino sherry
[Chef’s Note: Tie the bay leaf, thyme sprigs and sage leaves together into a bouquet garni, or wrap into a sachet using cheesecloth, so that it can be removed easily at the end of the cooking time.]
Medium soup pot
In a medium soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks, garlic, celery and onion. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the pumpkin, herbs and stock and bring to a boil. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender and cooked through.
Remove the bouquet garni. Purée the soup with a handheld immersion blender until no lumps remain. If necessary, pass the soup through a sieve. Return the soup to the pot and add the sherry. Bring the soup back to a simmer. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve in warmed soup bowls with croutons or a swirl of cream.
You can dress this up in many ways, including adding a dollop of foie gras mousse with truffled toast points, as mentioned, or drizzle with a balsamic and maple reduction, a dollop of harvest spiced crème fraîche, or pepitas (mexican spiced pumpkin seeds).
Recipe by Mark Tafoya
Photo by Jaden Hair